Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen is speaking out for the first time following a violent attack on March 13 in South Florida.
“Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support. Your love and prayers are truly helping. My wife Lauren [Monroe] was thankfully not with me at the time of the incident. We are together now, and working on recovering in a safe space,” a statement released on behalf of Allen to ABC News reads.
The statement continues, “We ask you to join us in our effort to move from confusion and shock to compassion and empathy. We understand this act of violence can be triggering for so many people. To all of the fans, veterans, and first responders in our global community, we are thinking of you all. Together with love, we can all get through these difficult times.”
Allen was reportedly attacked by Max Edward Hartley outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL last week, a day after Def Leppard performed in the area. According to a Fort Lauderdale Police report, the 59-year-old Allen was smoking a cigarette outside the hotel when Hartley, who’d been hiding behind a pole, charged toward Allen “at a full run” and knocked him backward to the ground. Allen struck his head on the pavement in the fall.
The teen and the musician appear to not have been previously acquainted. Hartley, 19, an Ohio resident visiting the Sunshine State reportedly for spring break, was arrested and charged with two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief, and abusing an elderly or disabled adult.
Allen lost his arm as a result of a 1984 automobile accident. He subsequently re-taught himself to play drums with just his right arm and both feet, using a custom-built kit.